Saturday, November 28, 2009

Aliens, where? Roswell, NM, Nov 28, 2009

Yesterday (Friday) we were due to leave the Tularosa / Alamogordo area after being here almost two weeks, but the Explorer had developed a left front end ‘thunk’.  We first noticed it while in the Moab, UT area, but it was getting worse by the day.  Bob felt today was the day to check it out as he had looked under the Explorer and could see the bushing was cracked near the radius arm.  Once he knew what the problem was he was more driven in getting it fixed.  We checked out the internet and the phone book from the RV park’s laundry room and picked out a couple of potential places to go for the repair, the first place was not open…so that left plan B and as it turned out, it was the best place-Alamo Auto Center Inc.  Within two hours of entering their front door, they had diagnosed the problem, ordered and received the replacement bushings and completed the work,  we were out of there by noon. 

So back to the coach, packed it up and headed about 90 miles east to Roswell, NM.  Our first choice of RV park was full, so on to our 2nd choice [second choices seem to be good luck for us], they had a place for us.  We will be here for the next four days, then heading out on Tuesday for Carlsbad, NM to meet John and Judy.

016Today (Sat) we explored Roswell and here is what we found. 

Lots and lots of these alien creatures.


                                 Here020 is Bob conversing with an Elf-alien at the International UFO Museum & Research Center.  His name was RALF “Roswell Alien Life Form”, the museum’s mascot.

Here are two of my new friends.  They were very friendly.

137 031

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thanksgiving evening, Nov 26, 2009

517We had a great dinner, grilled pork roast, stuffing, sweet potatoes,  cranberry sauce and dessert was pumpkin fluff. 





This was our sunset tonight in New Mexico.

522I was reading on Yahoo that tonight was a good night to view the International Space Station and Atlantis.  Check out this site for the timings for your area.  So between 6:13:19 until 6:16:05 pm we could see both of them zooming across the sky.

Bob was able to get this shot.  Pretty amazing!


Happy Thanksgiving, Nov 26, 2009

thankful We wish everyone, especially our family and friends,  a Peaceful Thankful Thanksgiving!

Check out this link to find out more than you ever needed to know about why Thanksgiving is now the last Thursday of November.

When Bob saw on a NM map that we were only about 60 miles from Smokey the Bear’s grave in Capitan NM…guess where he wanted to go?

578  Inside the Visitor Center they have all sorts of Smokey memorabilia, then just follow the trail and you come to this spot.  Here is where he rests. RIP Smokey


In the spring of 1950 a  little bear cub was caught in the Capitan Gap fire and was found by a local rancher up a tree with no mama and some burns on his paws.   To read the full story, check out this link.  Did you know the Smokey the Bear fire prevention campaign was before they found  little Smokey?  See how small he was.

579 Remember, only YOU can prevent forest fires!

583 Now in honor of today, here is Smokey in the 1966 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.  (I am watching the parade right now)

585 You know we love our Peanut Time, so when we found this bag at a grocery in Capitan, we knew it was meant for us.  Since we will be meeting our friends, John and Judy next Tuesday, do you think we have enough peanuts for Happy Hour(s)?

593 May you have a blessed day!!

Friday, November 20, 2009

White Sands or Snow?? Nov 20, 2009

What do you think?   Sand or Snow?

013 It is sand…we went to White Sands National Monument today, it is such an amazing area.  It is the world's largest gypsum dune field.  Here I am walking down a dune, the area with tracks are much easier to walk on than the harder packed smooth areas.

074 These are picnic shade/wind structures, today there was no wind, but I can only imagine what it would be like when the winds do come.


Bob said the Park volunteer told him on Easter Sunday they have over 10,000 visitors.  Wow, today we were alone at this picnic area.

Bob attempted to sled and ended up sliding (or I call it scooching) down a sand dune.  Here is a video, perhaps when you are in your 60’s you have forgotten just how to use a sled??

You can see here the sand holding properties roots have – amazing.


Just love the artwork nature creates.  The stems blowing in the wind causes the circular designs in the sand—do you also see the small tracks?


Thursday, November 19, 2009

Three Rivers Petroglyphs + Ham’s Grave, Nov. 19, 2009

We moved the RV to Tularosa near Alamogordo.  It is one of those off the beaten track parks, a Passport America park has some permanents and some transient, but the price is right, $15.84/night.  Our time here so far has basically been some R and R, right around freezing at night and in the mid to upper 60’s during the day…and the sun is shining!

Since we passed the turn off to Three Rivers Petroglyphs Site on our way here, we knew where our first field trip was going to be…at least I did.  This one mile or so strenuous trail reveals over 21,000 petroglyphs.355 This petroglyph below is the most photographed at this site.  The body of a bighorn sheep pierced by three arrows.

377 Here is Bob showing the size of this glyph.


Just about anywhere you looked, you saw them…so very cool!

241 Today we ventured into Alamogordo to the International Space Hall of Fame.  What a neat museum!!


They had several static displays outside, here is one of them, it was called Sonic Wind No 1.  On December 10, 1954, Dr John Paul Stapp rode this rocket sled to a speed of 632 miles per hour—now that was fast.  This speed test was done to measure human response to sudden deceleration.

Another display was the Whisper Dish.   This was so cool, there was another dish about 75 feet away, so when you speak into the metal circle in the center,  Bob who was at the other dish could hear me just like he was next to me.  We tried whispering and it was amazing, I could hear every sound.301. 441 

Bob took this photo showing how far away I am.




Bob was so excited, he found the grave of  “Ham”, the World’s First Astrochimp.  On Jan 31, 1961, he was the first creature in outer space, he traveled 155 miles for 16.5 minutes.

454 The reason he is buried here is because his trainer is a volunteer at this facility.


Here is replica of the original sputnik.  I remember my Dad showing me a moving spot in the sky, it was Sputnik.  It only orbited for 92 days.  Hard to believe it was so small and I could see it from earth.

468 We had a great day.

320 Before I end, I do want to give my best to Megan, she just called and the doctor says she has the H1N1 swine flu and walking pneumonia—she needs our prayers!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Petroglyph Nat’l Monument & Rainbows, Nov 13-14, 2009

On Friday, the 13th, we left Grants, NM and drove 70 miles to the east side of Albuquerque.  Then headed off the visit Petroglyphs National Monument.

009 After a quick stop at the Visitor Center to get my National Park Passport cancellation stamp we were off for adventure.  It was trying to decide whether to rain or not, as we left the VC we were treated to this rainbow.

011 There are three sections or canyons of the park that are accessible for visitors.  With time not on our side, we only made it to two canyons.  The rain gods did decide to give us a break.










053 Some areas were just covered with the rock art.

046 We left the last canyon just as the sun was setting.

Saturday morning when we left Albuquerque, it was cold and the wind was blowing.  Burrrr.  We were heading south  to Tularosa, about 200 miles where it is forecast to be much nicer.

The Enchanted Trails RV Park in Albuquerque had this old timer Hudson and tear drop type vintage RV.  See the back of our coach and car in the background.


Here is an test…can you see me, my camera, Bob’s head, rain drops, and a rainbow in the photo.  I took this shot while driving to capture the rainbow behind us.



As we traveled south, the rain stopped, the sun came out.  This is some fall color in southern New Mexico.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

El Malpais Nat’l Monument, Grants, NM - Nov 11, 2009

With a picnic lunch packed, off we went to explore El Malpais Nat’l Monument.  Well, what can I say, we were not impressed-but after being to Arches and Canyonlands-nothing can compare.  After finding one visitor center closed, we ended up taking the El Calderon three mile hike where there we saw a lava cave, bat cave (entrance only), and a double sink area.

Here is a photo of me at the entrance taken by Bob and one I took of Bob inside the lava cave.042 100 This sink in the lava was 80’ deep.


Loved these crescent seed heads on this 18” tall wild grass.


A final view of El Malpais.


Veterans Day. Nov 11, 2009




“Courage is almost a contradiction in terms. It means a strong desire to live taking the form of readiness to die." -G.K. Chesterton

AND a very big "Thank you for your service" to all our veterans and active military personnel.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Natural Bridges National Monument, Nov. 9, 2009

Since  we had seen so many arches in Arches NP we wanted to see some natural bridges and no better place than Natural Bridges National Monument.  They are similar, but different.

A natural bridge is formed through erosion by water flowing in the stream bed of the canyon.  An arch is formed differently, if you want to read how they are formed, check it out here.

We hiked down to see Sipapu Bridge and ate our lunch in the shadows of the arch. 


The trail down and back up did have some ladders and rails.


Then onto Owachomo Bridge.  The hike down was not too bad and what an awesome view…this bridge is huge, see Bob at the bottom taking a photo.

031 030  Tomorrow  (Nov 10th) we are heading south to New Mexico.  We have been in Utah for over a month.  Utah has so much to see and October has been a great month to see its sights.

New GFI, Nov. 8, 2009

We arrive back at the coach from Canyonlands and we had no power in the front of the coach.  Bummer…what is going on now.  This same scenario has happened before, and it was the GFI (Ground Fault Interrupter). We just reset it and all is well.  Well, NOT THIS TIME.  Tried to reset it several times and it just kept tripping.  The True Value store in Moab closed at 6 pm (we knew as we were just there), but they do open at 8 am on Sunday.  We were planning on leaving the Moab area on Sunday so.…you know were we will be before we head out.

152 It was a tricky install as the wires were short and hard to get connected, but Bob did get it switched out and it worked well. 

So off the Bluff, UT we go.

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